Columba

biteSMS is long gone, and as such, jailbreakers have been clamoring for an adequate replacement. Well, I’ve got good news and bad news.

The good news is there’s another potential biteSMS replacement available for jailbroken iPhones. The bad news is it’s nowhere near as polished as biteSMS and it’s simply not ready for prime time.

Columba, as the tweak is called, is available for $2.99 on the BigBoss repo. Not only does it bring quick reply and quick compose to the table, but it also promises scheduled messaging and messaging templates. Have a look at our impressions to read our thoughts on the release.

Columba Preferences

Once Columba is installed, you can find its preferences in the stock Settings app. There you can configure the quick compose and quick reply options.

Columba gives the option to enjoy a “windowed” composition interface, which basically means that you can compose and reply to messages via a little window instead of the full fledged messaging interface.

While a window is usually desired, it falls flat on its face, because it’s slow. When composing a new message via a tap on the volume HUD, at times, it takes a few seconds for the window interface to load.

Columba HUD

Tap the volume HUD to invoke quick compose

Granted, I am using a slow as molasses iPod touch 5th gen, but I can tell that this slowdown doesn’t fall squarely on the shoulders of my pathetically antiquated device. Other tweaks run much faster than this on my iPod touch.

Coupled with the sluggishness of the tweak is some questionable design and layout decisions. Unlike biteSMS, Columba is super-unpolished, and lacks visual balance. No matter how good the underlying code may be for this tweak, it’s going to be hard to look at until the design improves.

https://vine.co/v/ei5T3a13pgK

Aforementioned features like scheduled messaging and templates appear as options in Columba’s preferences, but they too are poorly designed, and simply don’t work at all.

As you can probably tell, I’m pretty miffed that the developer of Columba would release a tweak, charge $2.99, while knowing good and well that it wasn’t ready for prime time. Even a minimal amount of testing would have made this clear.

All of that said, I’m rooting for the developer, and hope that they can turn it around. I know that a lot of people who are still jailbroken probably jumped at the chance to try out a new biteSMS replacement and were met with disappointment from this release. Let’s hope that this isn’t the first and last time we’ve heard of Columba, and that it receives some much needed TLC over the next few weeks and months.

Have you tried Columba? What did you think?

  • Ali

    Good effort to replace biteSMS, but far from it for now. Still worthy of a mention though, and I am hoping for quick updates and performance improvements.

    • Matt

      Well you better hope cause BiteSMS will not happen anymore lol

  • Ds

    bought it release day. had little success with it. as stated above it is clearly not ready to “prime time” but I am happy to see that someone trying to replace our lost love for bitesms.

  • Tyler Smith

    its close… oh so close but I’ve switched back to couria for now

    edit: wording.. damn auto correct..

  • DanielMaciasJr

    RIP. biteSMS.

    Couria iOS 8 does the job just fine for me.

    • Tyler Smith

      I agree but with the bigger phones the reach is a little annoying

    • Glenn DolFan Baptista

      Does anyone else have problems with quick reply not working with Couria? My text will pop up but it won’t let me text or send anything back unless I go and open up the message app. Any fixes ?

      • I’ve had issues with Couria the entire time like that. I am so glad to see Columba. The closest to Bite and it can only get better.

  • The_Kingfish

    I walked away from this one several months ago when I saw the developer was charging people for the beta version. You should never charge people to download and test buggy beta software. They’re either going to not download and test it because they have to pay for a non finished product, or pay for it and complain mercilessly to the developer because they paid and feel ripped off when all the problems show up. Only start charging when you’re sure it’s ready for release and maybe give the beta testers a little discount as thanks for help testing it.

  • Mike

    Seriously it almost bricked my phone after 12 hard resets it came back in safe mode and immediately deleted the tweak. Must not be compatible with something.

    • Glenn DolFan Baptista

      Same here. This tweak is garbage !!!! Had to hard reset 4x finally my phone turned back on.

    • TwinSon

      It crashed the hell out of my phone so hard I’ve been running in safe mode all day just to be on the safe side.

  • Alberto Espinal

    The font on this tweak is just too small, same as another tweak dont remember the name and emailed the developer to ask him about the font and never heard from him

    • Poporopo00

      Font can be adjusted in settings

  • Mark Joseph Layug

    Messageheads does the job better. You can reply almost anywhere for as long as the heads are visible. Set an activator for the quick compose such as double tapping the status bar and you’re all set. Also applies on the Lockscreen.

  • Evandro Nascimento

    works with whatsapp?

  • Mr_Coldharbour

    Definitely not a new tweak, I remember seeing Columba about 2 months ago during its beta days on a 3rd party beta repo. I even recommended it to Sebastien on Twitter but didn’t get a reply. The quick compose button on volume HUD is a nice touch.

    • Poporopo00

      Compose option on HUD reboots my phone.

  • I “tried” it out and didn’t like it. Like others said it almost bricked my phone and then it’s too slow and obtrusive still. Nothing like bitesms imo.

  • Looks like they just wanted to get the tweak out there, charge some money, and say it will replace biteSMS just to get a quick buck – then worry about fixing it later.

    Problem with that is, now people have a bad perception of it and won’t be going back to it regardless of if they fix it or not.

  • Blip dude

    Seriously, no thanks!!! After buying Auki last because of how much hype this website gives to anything Surenix and A3 tweaks create (no offense to them though, the tweak itself and his themes are great). But I have YET to see an update to that tweak, so no thanks. I already have a quick reply tweak that needs an update.

    • Poporopo00

      I don’t know what is the deal with the delepovers here but i have to say, at least for me, Auki was the shit compadre!, the best quick and easy reply. Again, my opinion.

      The MessageHeads is the option for now for quick reply tweaks i’d say.

      This tweak is not a good decision… 🙁

  • About time you reviewed this. I am digging it so far!

  • Jake Barbour

    I gave up and am satisfied with couria

  • Nesly Lacroix

    Isn’t QC & QR native in iOS 8? The only missing is Scheduled Messaging.

  • Nick Dee

    Tried it but had to hard reset 4 times. Needs a lot of work. Erased it real quick

  • Research Rants

    Many weird choices in this thing. And unlike the beta, the quick reply doesn’t wortk for me — keyboard never comes up. (It’s fine with the quick compose, though why I’d want to look at all my contacts, scroll until I find one of the four people I actually text, click them, and then click their number is kind of beyond me.

  • Josh

    i installed it and its beta at best. I haven’t had the issue other people are speaking of but i hate that i when i slide to the left to hit reply and then the dialog comes up for Columba and i have to hit reply AGAIN….also i had my phone in landscape (watching netflix) and a text popped up but side ways and wouldn’t turn and i could only see half the message and i could only click dismiss….its not perfect but its a step in the right direction….

    ++Edit++
    Well after posting this i had that problem people were talking about. I went got a text and replied like normal and then i tired to call someone and my phone wouldnt call and im like WTF, so i respring my phone thinking that would help…NOPE….then my phone went into a boot loop for about 30 min before it finally fixed it self and the first thing i did was delete this tweak!

  • Poporopo00

    I don’t find a replacement for Auki, the stock app is not enough.

    Suki gave pics on messages, QuickCompose toogle and it was just the right size pop up.

    I bought Messages+ since IOS 6, then they updated it, THEN Auki got here and replaced Messages+ to me.

    I went ahead and try Columba and is Ok, less intrusive than Messages+ but i wish it had a better design (as mentioned).

    Couria gives me problems too all the time so i gave up with it.

    I tried BiteSMS (i didn’t buy it) but i guess i didn’t want to replace my stock app, i just wanted to save time when replying or creating new messages and again Auki did it.

    I also bought MessageHeads and it looks great but having those circles there almost all the time are kind of annoying, maybe i didn’t configure it correctly. IDK

    I’m missing so much the fuctionality of AUKI since i updated for a perfect jailbroken IOS 7.1.2 fully loaded with really efficient tweaks (i guess i will regret.) I wish the made it compatible with IOS. For my convenience Auki was the best quick reply option for me. I just dont like to pull or slide to reply that much, i rather tap, small window to reply and gone.

    Personal opinion.

  • Yoni

    is he done updating? what happened